Building customer empathy with insights from advanced analytics

Co-author: David Julian

Can your customers “feel the love”? It’s more important than ever to build a customer-centric organization that infuses a sense of empathy into every customer interaction. Creating a positive emotional connection to your brand can be a powerful driver to increase customer retention and profitability. It usually starts by finding and fixing pain points, and an effective way to get there is using text analytics.

The benefits of amplifying customer empathy

For companies focusing on improving customer experience, a vital component is making sure the business and your employees really understand the customer journey. It’s not just about what happens when, but how customers feel along the way. In a 2014 report, Temkin Group highlighted the importance of increasing organizational empathy towards customers, and targeted one of their “25 tips” on using text analytics to uncover pain points.

As an example, the report featured a success story from computer data storage company EMC. The company’s existing customer satisfaction measurement tools showed their logistical spare-parts program was working well. But using text analytics, they were able to dive deeper and categorize customer feedback, which revealed that program time delays were making customers unhappy. With such targeted insight, the business was able to make improvements that really matter to customers.

Photo by GarryKnight (https://www.flickr.com/photos/garryknight/)

Photo by GarryKnight (https://www.flickr.com/photos/garryknight/)

In another case study in the report, Sprint took customer analytics one step further and used the data to build predictive models of customer behavior, and then update their processes to drive a better experience. Now, when a customer calls with any type of problem, call center representatives already have a customer model of related problems the customer is likely to have in the future, and can preemptively offer solutions, increasing overall satisfaction and reducing churn.

Driving smarter decisions with customer understanding

The more companies have a deep understanding of their customers, the more executive teams can make decisions as if the customers were right there at each meeting. “Data is helping to bring the customer into the boardroom,” notes Beyond the Arc CEO, Steven Ramirez in a 1to1 media article.

The Temkin Group believes that employees and executives of many companies do have a natural sense of customer empathy; yet too often employees are forced to view or interact with customers in ways that stifle that impulse. Data can change this by illuminating the pathway to creating a measurable, actionable—and empathetic-— model of the customer. With data-driven models of customer needs and behaviors, employees can more effectively identify with what the customer experiences through interactions at every touch point. By empowering employees across an organization with this level of understanding, companies can bring to life an empathetic, customer-focused culture that can have profitable results.

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